Archives: Voices

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship October 22, 2021

The Americans-are-falling-behind edition. Rents are late and evictions are looming. Two-thirds of parents say their kids have fallen behind in school. One in five households say someone in the home has been unable to get medical care for a serious condition. These are but a few of the findings from a new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

Child Tax Credit advocates: “We’re asking that we keep doing the thing that we knew was right in the first place.” 

Earlier this week, faith leaders gathered near the U.S. Capitol for a 12-hour vigil in support of President Biden’s Build Back Better plan pending in Congress. The “Keep the Faith Vigil” focused on so many issues close to the hearts of human needs advocates: hunger, housing, immigration reform, climate change, paid leave, tax credits for low-income families, home and community-based care, health care, labor rights, and more. 

What is the cost of not passing Build Back Better? 

Kaylen Marie Barker is a ninth-generation West Virginian whose ancestors moved to Appalachia to escape abject poverty. But despite having a master’s degree, Kaylen finds herself living in “generational poverty,” and spends time hunting for pennies in her couch cushions in order to put gas in her car. Kaylen says her state desperately needs President Biden’s Build Back better plan, which would inject billions of dollars into West Virginia’s economy, lift children and families out of poverty, expand health care, and do so much more.

 In their own words: Why recipients and providers of home care say Congress must act 

Last week advocates gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol to conduct a 24-hour vigil, demanding that Congress provide historic, once-in-a-generation federal funding for Medicaid-based Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). Advocates organized the vigil to push for historic, once-in a-generation federal funding for home and community-based services (HCBS). During the vigil, advocates shared some 2,500 stories from people who work as caregivers or depend on caregivers to live independently.

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship October 8, 2021

The 700,000 deaths edition. The U.S. has now officially surpassed 700,000 COVID-19 deaths. Only about 65 percent of the eligible U.S. population is fully vaccinated. Some states, from the South to the Upper Plains to the Mountain West, are under 50 percent. In August, for the first time, the rate of coronavirus infections among children topped infection rates for adults 18 to 64 and seniors. It is true that new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are all significantly down, and experts say the worst of this current wave brought on by the Delta variant is behind us. But they also warn that we are not out of the woods yet.

Pressing Manchin: From kayaks to Capitol Hill, West Virginians seek to keep Build Back Better Afloat 

It’s been a busy week for a convoy of West Virginians who traveled to Washington, D.C. to make their case to Senator Joe Manchin that the Mountain State needs President Biden’s Build Back Better plan. 

The “fun” began last week, when members of the entourage climbed into kayaks to visit Manchin’s yacht, Almost Heaven, which he maintains on the Potomac River and lives in when he is in D.C. As it happened, during one of several trips to Almost Heaven last week, the “kayaktivists” found Manchin at home, and once he learned that some of the kayakers were from West Virginia, he greeted them warmly and engaged in conversation. 

How workers – and restaurants – might thrive post-pandemic 

If you’ve dined out lately, you may well have seen a “Help Wanted” sign in the window of the restaurant you visited. And you might have noticed that your favorite restaurants, which were open six or seven days a week pre-pandemic, are now often only open four or five days a week. It is no secret that many restaurants have struggled to hire, and retain, staff. But a new study suggests that many restaurants have managed to figure out a way for their business — and their employees – to thrive.

CHN’s Podcast Episode 5: Securing Pathway To Citizenship & Immigration Reform

There is no better time than now to lend your voice to the fight to secure a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants! That’s why the brand new episode of the Voices for Human Needs podcast is all about the ongoing efforts of grassroots advocates, allies in Congress, and directly impacted communities across the country to finally pass legislation that protects millions of immigrants who are essential members of our communities.

“Much at stake” for West Virginia families in Biden’s spending plans

Amy Jo Hutchison, West Virginia anti-poverty advocate for Rattle the Windows and Fellow at Community Change, said Biden’s push to address issues such as health care and child care leaves much at stake for West Virginians. She pointed out many families are currently using the expanded child tax credit to cover the cost of child care. “It costs more for one child to do private paid childcare here in West Virginia than it does for a year’s tuition at West Virginia University or Marshall University,” Hutchison noted. “So those costs are just staggering.”

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship September 24, 2021

The congressional chaos edition. Next week, Congress may take up four measures that could greatly affect both the short- and long-term health of our nation, for better or worse. First there is President Biden’s critically important Build Back Better plan – among many vital items, it would ensure that poor people are not left out of Medicaid and would keep the Child Tax Credit expansions from ending. Next there is important, bipartisan legislation to upgrade America’s physical infrastructure. Then there is the business of keeping the federal government open – and also addressing the thorny issue of the debt ceiling.